Hauled arse and camera up to Brum for a day out yesterday - this is what the place looked like in the spring sunshine...
New Street, ironically named, is the third oldest street in the city, first mentioned in the twelfth century.
The pink terracotta Cannon Street.
The Trocadero in Temple Street, originally an insurance office, was converted into a pub in 1900 with the addition of a fine Art Nouveau mosaic along the ground floor.
Colmore Row, traditionally the heart of Birmingham's Banking Quarter.
Yeoville Thomason's 1869 Union Club.
In addition to its palatial Victorian banking halls, Colmore Row has a couple of buildings that were milestones in the transition from the Arts and Crafts style of the late nineteenth century to the proto-modernism of the early twentieth. This is the first, WR Lethaby's 1900 Eagle Star Insurance Building...
...and this is the second - Henman and Cooper's Scottish Union and National Insurance Building of 1902.
Surrounded by some of the busiest streets in Central Brum, the lawyer- and private banker- dominated Waterloo Street always seems surreally peaceful.
St Philips, designed by Thomas Archer in 1726, is the finest Baroque church in the UK outside London.
The Hotel du Vin in Church Street.
Victorian town houses in Cornwall Street.
One wing of J.H Chamberlain's posthumous masterpiece - the School of Art in Margaret Street, completed in 1885.
Birmingham is famous for its ornate terracotta architecture - these are the 1896 Bell Edison offices by Frederick Martin.
More restrained and understated Victoriana on Edmund Street...
The triumphal arch of the Council House, Birmingham's rather prosaically named City Hall.
The City Museum and Art Gallery in Chamberlain Square.
Anthony Gormley's 1993 "Iron Man" sculpture in Victoria Square.
The Bull Ring has been Birmingham's commercial heart since 1166 when Henry II first granted Peter de Bermingham a charter to hold a weekly fair around St Martin's Church. One of its more recent additions is this patinated copper mollusc-shaped coffee shop, based on the Fibonacci sequence and designed in 2004 by Marks Barfield, architects of the London Eye.
St Paul's Church, set in a leafy Georgian square, is the heart of the Jewellery Quarter - an area of small early nineteenth century workshops north west of the city centre that has the largest concentration of specialist Jewelers in the world, intermingled with a wealth of bars, clubs and restaurants.
Brummie terracotta's finest moment - Aston Webb and Ingress Bell's incredibly detailed and terrifyingly red Victoria Law Courts in Corporation Street.
Many of Birmingham's streets, particularly in the city centre, retain their original white-painted cast iron Victorian street signs.
Broad Street, famous (notorious?) for its clubs, bars and drunken weekend revelry. Even the church, if you examine it closely, turns out to be a bar.
Brindley Place, an exemplary mixed-use development north of Broad Street with over 1 million square feet of offices, along with museums, restaurants, hotels and residential buildings. From the left ... CZWG's Cafe in the Square, Stanton Williams' Four Brindley Place, Foster and Partners' National Sea Life Centre. A fine example of how to develop a completely new district into a real slice of city - this photograph is taken at the weekend, remember.
JH Chamberlain's former Oozells Street Board School, redesigned as part of the Brindley Place development by Levitt Bernstein Associates into a new home for the Ikon Gallery - one of Birmingham's foremost centres for contemporary art.
Edgbaston, ajoining the city centre to the immediate south west. In Birmingham you can live in a white stucco Georgian or Victorian villa and still be close enough to the city centre to walk to work every morning. As long as you've got enough money, of course...
Victorian Suburbs ... Moseley, about 2 miles south of the city centre
... Sparkhill, to the east of the city centre, is officially the most deprived ward in the city.
Deritend, literally the "Dirty End" of town, was the site of the original boggy ford across the River Rea that was the reason for Birmingham's existance. While Birmingham itself grew as a market town on the nearby hill that became the City Centre, Deritend and Digbeth below spent centuries as Birmingham's workhorses - leaving a gritty but characterful post-industrial district of factories, mills and old-fashioned no-nonsense boozers. This picture shows the factory that made Bird's Custard, slowly developing into a centre for arts, music and alternative shopping, together with Birmingham's oldest pub, the Old Crown, which dates from 1490, and Father Lopez's Chapel, a small victorian church set up by a Catholic missionary to try and save the souls of the area's impoverished residents. Already showing signs of a dramatic rebirth, this area has so much potential it's frightening.
Holloway Circus Tower, in a short while (and for a short while) to be the tallest tower in the UK outside London.